ROSENGARDWORLD. A WEEKLY COLUMN Number 8 - Saturday 18th November 2000

“On Tuesday morning I told 17 people that I love them.

Then I got out of bed, dressed and had breakfast.”

Now I’d be the first to admit that my personal life hasn’t always been as straightforward as I would have wished at times, but I can categorically state that I have never been out with 17 people at the same time. My bedroom is not big enough for a start.

Only a few minutes later I told all 17 of them ” It’s over.”

I felt it was the honourable thing to do.

“Hey! Peter what’s going on?” I can hear you asking.

You see on Tuesday I discovered how e-mails can make and break relationships… at the push of a SEND button.

This is exactly what happened.

I hadn’t heard from Matt, a friend of mine, for quite a while, so I’d sent him a casual e- mail enquiry.

“Why haven’t you replied to my e-mails? ..I can’t go on like this …

I LUUURVE YOU! Sob! Sob! Please reply urgently I beg you!” and pushed the send button.

Unfortunately at the very second of pushing SEND I saw the words ‘SATURDAY COLUMN DISTRIBUTION LIST’ in the “TO” box where his e-mail address should have been. Despite countless lessons I am still not very good at operating heavy machinery. It’s not my thing.

I had just sent a declaration of love to 500 people…450 of whom I have never met.

Then I remembered I had divided my distribution list up into a dozen groups of up to 50 people each and luckily this list was the smallest one.

It only had 17 people on it.

I was feeling a lot better already. Telling 450 people you have never met that you love them is excessive. 17 suddenly sounded almost monogamous.

I looked through the names. Apart from Matt, the pal I’d e-mailed, I only knew 4 of the others.

9 of the 17 were women which meant that 8 were men.

(I always find that moments of high panic are a good time to hone your mental arithmetic skills). OK… so I have just told 8 men I love them and men are also.. like heavy machinery.. not my thing.

‘NOT THAT THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH IT!’ As Jerry Seinfield once said.

What to do?

‘NOTHING’ seemed like the most attractive option.

One minute later my inbox flashed ‘You have 1 new message!’


I pushed reply.

“Dear MILLY… I must apologise”…I went on to explain what had happened…but then for some reason I continued.

“Please MILLY do not take this as a personal rejection. … After all we really don’t know each other at all do we? I mean this literally. We have never met. I am sure you are really a very lovable person and if you and I are not to be, for now at any rate, remember the words of Mick Jagger who once said. ” Women are like a No. 19 bus. Don’t worry if you’ve missed one ‘cos there’s always another one coming round the corner…often in 3s” Of course I mean ‘men’ in your case Milly not buses”.

I pushed the send button…very carefully.

I felt sure Milly would come to accept that our love could never work.

I was just about to shut down when I glanced again at my inbox.

There was a new message.

Re ” I luuuuurve you.” It was from Raymond. I didn’t know anyone called Raymond.

I hit reply.

“Dear Raymond.” I began “I think we both always knew ..deep down .. it could never last, didn’t we? ……